Maui is an island that, like the rest of Hawaii, is beautifully blessed with hot weather all year round. Whatever time of the year you choose to visit the island, it’s going to be at the worst warm, and at the best, scorching hot, but there are many more factors to consider than just the temperature when deciding what is the best time to visit Maui.
Peak season across Hawaii is in winter when school holidays are in full swing and tourists flock here to escape the cold climes of the northern hemisphere.
During summer, it’s also incredibly busy, as once again, families travel here during school breaks. The shoulder seasons, on the other hand, give you great weather and fewer crowds, while prices are also much lower.
But peak seasons aside, you also need to factor in when it rains in Maui, and you may not want to be visiting at the height of the wet season.
If you’re a surfer, or water sports enthusiast you’ll want to consider when the waves and winds are at their best and worst, while if you’re diving or snorkeling, visibility in the water can be different depending on the season.
There’s a lot to consider when you are planning your trip to Hawaii, but to help you out, here’s our guide on picking the best time to visit Maui.
Don’t leave home without: Lonely Planet Maui (Travel Guide)
A Word About the Seasons in Maui
Maui is found far south towards the equator, and for this reason, the island doesn’t have the traditional four seasons that are found further north in the USA.
Instead, the weather in Maui is positively tropical, and the year is broken up into more distinct wet and dry seasons. The wet season runs from November to April, while the dry season runs from May through to October.
Correspondingly, the wet season in Maui coincides with winter and spring in the northern USA while the dry season corresponds with Summer and Autumn.
Confusingly though, in Hawaii, the wet season is simply referred to as winter and the dry season as summer. Across the board though, temperatures remain stable with averages of 25 degrees Celsius in winter months and 30 degrees Celsius in the summer, while even in the wet season, the rain is never really that bad!
To make things easier though, we’ve sectioned our guide to the best time to visit Maui below into the traditional seasons that are found further north.
Best Time to Visit Maui: Comprehensive Breakdown
Visiting Maui in the Spring
Spring is very much the shoulder season, and for this reason, it can definitely be the best time to visit Maui if you want to escape the high season crowds.
March to May is a quieter time in Maui, and although you can’t expect things to ever be ‘dead’ on the island, you will find that hotels and resorts are less crowded and that you might even be lucky enough to find a stretch of sand along the coast all to yourself.
In the spring months, you can also score some bargains. In March, after the high season rush ends in February, hotels, and airlines tend to bring their costs down, and through a combination of advance booking and flexibility, you can get some of the lowest prices through the year.
In March, the weather starts to warm up again, and continues through April, until in May, you’re basically recording summer temperatures.
But springtime in Maui isn’t like the springtime that you find further north in the northern hemisphere. Spring is really the transition between the wet and the dry season, and for that reason, the weather can prove to be unpredictable.
It might be raining one day but the skies can be clear and sunny the next, or you could even deal with both seasons in just a matter of hours. It’s worth it though, if you want to escape the crowds, and if you also want to see a verdant, green side of the island.
Of course, Maui can be popular during Spring Break and over Easter, but it’s still easy to find less traveled places to visit, and you can always head along the east coast to Hana, and other destinations, where few people travel to anyway in comparison to the resort-orientated north and west coasts.
The official whale watching season in Maui also coincides with spring, and you’ll see these marvelous marine mammals cruising along the coast all through the season, but with March being the peak month for sightings.
Visiting Maui in the Summer
Summer is the best time to visit Maui if you’re looking for the hottest temperatures, clearest skies and driest weather, because June, July and August are the height of the dry season.
The transition from the wet season is complete by the end of May, and arriving in June will give you the chance to enjoy the fantastic weather before it really reaches its peak. July and August are the hottest months of the year in Maui, with temperatures regularly reaching well above 30 degrees Celsius.
This is, however, high season, for the very reason, that the weather is so good and the fact that many countries are on their school holidays, meaning families descend upon the resorts, particularly in July and August. Prices for flights and accommodation go up, while beaches and hiking trails are going to be crowded.
If you love snorkeling or diving though, there’s never a better time to be in Maui than in summer, and while the coast might be teeming with sunbathers, it’s easy to head offshore and to join excursions to quiet reefs around the island. It’s a fantastic time for snorkeling because the water is incredibly clear.
During the wet season, runoff from the shore makes the ocean cloudy with sediment, but during the dry season, this doesn’t happen, and the water gets progressively clearer as you near the end of summer.
The water is at its warmest and most calm too, and while it’s not a good time for surfing in Maui, it’s great for other water based activities that are best enjoyed without the waves.
Visiting Maui in the Fall
In fall, the dry season continues, but by November, things transition again into the wet season, as winter draws nearer. Like spring, the fall travel season is also a shoulder season, and numbers begin to drop in September, as the school holiday crowds return home. September can still be busy, catching the tail end of the high season, but by October it’s quieter again.
Fall is a great time to avoid the crowds of course, and you can book some excellent deals when it comes to flights and accommodation, but it can also be the best time to visit Maui for many other reasons too.
Temperatures begin dropping from their summer highs in August, and because the weather remains dry for much of fall, this is the perfect time of year for hiking in Maui.
You can explore the jungle trails without the humidity of the wet season, while you can enjoy hiking the volcanic craters in places like Haleakala National Park without fear of getting rained on, and without the blistering temperatures of the summer months.
Like summer though, fall is also the perfect time for snorkeling and diving, and you’ll find that there are far fewer people visiting the most popular marine sites, such as the Molokini Crater, or Turtle Town.
Towards November though, the seas can begin to get rougher, although visibility remains great until the rains begin again at the end of the season.
Visiting Maui in the Winter
As soon as it hits December, the winter season begins, and if you are looking for a quiet, peaceful holiday, then this is not the best time to visit Maui.
This is high season again, despite the fact that this is also the beginning of the rainy season. Maui has very complicated weather patterns however, and some areas will see virtually no rainfall, especially on the west and south coasts.
Importantly though, the temperatures are great this time of year, and while they are lower than summer, of course, they are still on average around 25 degrees Celsius. That makes Maui a beacon for anyone looking to escape the bitter cold further north, in North America or Europe.
December is particularly busy, because this is the Christmas season of course, and the peak crowds continue into January, but February is when it all starts to quieten down again, before the fall shoulder season.
If you are a surfer, then winter is the best time to visit Maui, because the waves are bigger now than any other time of the year. Unfortunately, if you’re here for snorkeling, the rain clouds up the water with sediment, and the currents can be strong.
Winter is also the start of the whale watching season, which begins mid-December and runs until May. While whales appear in small numbers through December and January, the peak season for whale sightings off the coast of Maui is in February.
They have completed their migration by February, making it easily the best time to head out on a whale-watching excursion if you are adamant about seeing whales in Maui.
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